baking bread dough

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On the Radio 4 programme, Alissa Timoshkina described her grandmother’s nighttime baking as ‘something really magical’

Many of us will have fond memories of visiting our grandmothers as children, and being spoilt with all sorts of culinary treats.

In The Food Programme - Good Enough for Granny (BBC Radio 4, 22 July, 3.30pm) - presenter Sheila Dillon talked to guests about memories of their grandmothers’ cooking.

Alissa Timoshkina, originally from Siberia, remembered her grandmother making bread the night before so the dough could prove overnight. She would put on clean clothes and say a prayer before making the dough, and would go into the kitchen at night to check on it.

One time, Timoshkina woke up in the middle of the night and saw her grandmother getting dressed in a clean white robe and going to the kitchen, so she followed her. “There was a massive enamel casserole with the dough spilling out of it, and she was kneading the dough,” Timoshkina recalled. “I must have been three or four, so in my imagination it was like witchcraft or something really magical. I didn’t know what she was doing, but that whole scene really stuck with me forever.”

Blogger Ann Store was another guest to describe her grandmother as a “force of nature” with an approach to cooking purely designed to “get food on the table”. She remembered the times her family would make the trip from Kent to Edgbaston to visit her. As soon as they arrived, the drinks trolley would come out with lapsang souchong for her parents and a glass of warm apple squash and stale Skips for her and her brothers.

An uplifting and heart-warming listen, full of delightful and moving stories.